TOP BAR - Fixtures

Robshaw has sights set on Harlequins after World Cup disappointment

Robshaw has sights set on Harlequins after World Cup disappointment

Harlequins skipper Chris Robshaw is focused on channelling his World Cup frustration into his club side’s mission to build on last season’s fifth-place Gallagher Premiership Rugby finish.

The former England captain was a high-profile omission from Eddie Jones’ 31-man squad, alongside Quins team mates Danny Care and Mike Brown, while youngsters Marcus Smith and Alex Dombrandt also missed the final cut.

And with Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler the only confirmed Harlequins representatives among the Red Rose camp – as Joe Marchant’s involvement remains unclear – Robshaw believes his team are well-placed to build on a positive first season under head coach Paul Gustard.

Despite admitting he was disappointed to miss out on a seat on the plane to Japan, the 33-year-old insists he can’t wait to get the new season underway, which begins with a Premiership Rugby Cup tie at home to Bristol Bears on September 20.

He said: “I’ve had my sulk and my mope, but you have to move forward – as soon as I knew I was going to be coming back to Quins I’ve been concentrating on cracking on and helping the team.

“I’m extremely excited about the new season. There’s been a bit of change within the squad, but personally I think the team has got bigger and better and having the boys who missed out on the World Cup around can only be a boost.

“I think we’re well placed to get off to a good start, but until you get to those first few games you don’t really know how well prepared you are.

“We’ve got the Premiership Rugby Cup to get some good games under our belt, before our first Gallagher Premiership Rugby match away at Exeter in October.

“You look at them and they’ll be missing lots of players to the World Cup. It’s probably better to go there early in the season and there definitely are certain teams you want to play at certain times.”

Robshaw knows how crucial every point across the campaign could be to Harlequins’ hopes of a top-four finish after they missed out on last season’s play-offs by the smallest of margins.

A missed kick in the last minute of their final game away at Wasps was all that denied the 2011-12 champions a shot at domestic glory, and Robshaw explains his side’s shortcomings did weigh on his mind during the off-season.

“When you finish on a high it’s always quite easy to forget about things,” he said. “But bad results definitely linger.

“I spoke to James Lang after that last game and he was massively down, but it was important to stress it that we slipped away massively in the last six games or so and these things add up.

“From game one, making the most of every moment of every game is so important and that’s why the most successful teams – the likes of Saracens and Exeter – are the sides that everyone’s trying to catch.

“If we can get that right from the off, then hopefully we can challenge for silverware.”

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